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July 20, 2011

Ottawa guy sets up Twitter feed to track the price of quarts (as in beer) in Ottawa

Behold The Quart.  Photo by Collin Guillas.
Got a note on the weekend from Colin Guillas, to let me know about a new Twitter feed he's set up to track and share the price of quarts of beer at Ottawa taverns.  It's called @QuartWatch.  Sample tweet:



So I sent Colin a few questions about quarts and his interest in consuming them, and he sent back a massive amount of information that I will now share with you.  The Gospel Of Quarts According To Colin:

  • "There are two things that are important to me about quarts:  The first is that the quart (a 710mL bottle) is my preferred beer size.  As a home brewer, I find the quart jug fills fast, shares well, and is perfectly portable. Second, and most importantly, you can generally use a venue's domestic quart price as a barometer for the price of their other offerings, and that's really the main reason why I chose to go with it.  Venues that don't serve quarts are generally going to be restaurants first and bars second, and that's not what I'm looking for.  There are tonnes of high quality joints in Ottawa calling themselves a pub/bar, perfectly happy to sell me a $35 steak frites with a $9 pint.  I want to help people find an affordable place in their neighbourhood for a cold one with friends when an upscale atmosphere and classy cuisine aren't necessarily a priority."
  • "My favourite place for a quart is the Dominion Tavern in the market.  Since it's central it's easily agreed upon by fickle travelers.  They've got a decent range of beers on tap and in bottle.  The Dom gets a colourful crowd in, has a little patio in the back, and there's a possibility you'll meet at least one of the stars from Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.  No giant sports bar TV walls, no lame attitudes, just a couple of pool tables and loads of graffiti in the bathroom."
  • "There is a dive in my old neighbourhood in Montreal.  The bar was terrible. It had a big screen TV for the game and it served only Molson Ex.  A quart was $5.50, or $5 if the Habs were winning. Shady guys would walk in off the street and try to pawn off fake Rolex watches and counterfeit bus tickets. I'm not going to argue quality here. I love a decent micro-brew and local cuisine and I'm happy that that's on offer in Ottawa.  Eight out of ten times I'll be ordering Wellington or Beau's and I don't mind paying more for them, they're quality craft beers.  The other times, I'm looking for less.  Give me a big, cold, cheap beer, turn up the jukebox, and if I get real hungry I'll grab a pickled egg.  So far the cheapest place in Ottawa I've been told about is the Carleton Tavern who lists their quart at $7.75.  I haven't been yet so I can't confirm it, but I'll probably wind my way over there pretty soon."
  • "Let me say here that I sympathize with Ottawa bar and restaurant owners.  The higher expenses of the region hit them too, and they don't get the added revenue stream from video lottery terminals and extended hours like proprietors only a kilometre away on the Quebec side do.  It's unfair to judge them by the same pricing standards."
  • "Brian Alkerton  pointed out to me on Twitter that a quart isn't a quart at all.  In Canada, a quart bottle contains 24 ounces of beer, 25% less than an actual quart and only slightly more than a draught pint which can vary between 14 and 20 ounces depending on where you go and how generous/honest the establishment is... another very good reason for ordering up a reliable quart bottle.  Of course, the confusion is easily cleared up on the Quebec side where you can get your quart by asking for «une grosse.»  I recommend that you do."

So now you know pretty much everything there is to know about quarts.  Cheers.



See also: Ottawa Food & Drink Guide
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5 comments:

  1. @Zaphods_Ottawa has had #quarts since our beginnings on Rideau Street. $9 #50 #Blue #Export #Bud * $12 Heineken #0ttawa #beer @Quartwatch

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  2. Four Seasons Restaurant at the corner of Cyrville & Star Top has quarts i the $7 range. Nothing fancy about the place just good diner food and cheap quarts. It's in a industrial area with lots of blue collar guys. For food I'll say the hot hamburger. By the way do you find it funny that people will bitch about paying $1.25 per litre for gas for their expensive car, yet gladly shell out $9 for a pint?

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  3. Oh and if you get the chance try Kichesippi Natural Blonde brewed right here in the city. Check Kbeer.com. They're at the Highlander & D'Arcy's on Sparks, plus a bunch of other locales. Not at LCBO yet but the brewery is near Carling & Clyde.

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  4. Size doesn't matter! It's what's inside the quart bottle that counts.

    I choose a watering hole based on what they sell, not the size of the container.

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  5. Blayne, I'll be sure to check out the Four Seasons when I have a chance. I want to make sure that I get the exact price for the feed. I'm a fan of Kitchesippi but one Ontario beer that I really dig is Barking Squirrel from Hop City. Just can't get enough. I'd love to find it in bottles.

    Ross, one of the reasons why I went with the quart is that a quart is a quart no matter where you go, and I wanted to be able to give a standard reference point to make comparison easy. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a standard pint in Ottawa and depending on where you go, there's a real short-pour problem. Give me a quart any day!

    ReplyDelete

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